Care, retirement and wellbeing of older people across different welfare regimes

Summary and overall aim

CREW’s research covers four broad topics. First, we investigate the determinants of health and wellbeing in older age and critically examine old and new measures. Second, we describe patterns of caregiving and its impact on the wellbeing of caregivers. Third, we analyse the challenges faced by pension systems as consequence of changes in survival, family dynamics and work patterns. Finally, we examine recent and likely future changes in kin availability and the characteristics of kinless individuals. Gender and welfare policies are transversal themes of each topic, as they shape all of the dynamics analysed. CREW fills key policy-relevant gaps in existing research, ultimately contributing to knowledge that should inform policies to guarantee high quality of ageing and equal opportunities for successful ageing for both men and women and for people of different socio-economic groups. Our research demonstrates that older people wellbeing is a complex phenomenon that needs to be studied using rich longitudinal data and appropriate methods, and taking into consideration differences by gender and socio-economic status. Our studies emphasize the need to take a life course perspective that analyses ageing as a process, which means that older people wellbeing depends on the experiences at different stages of life starting from childhood. Our research also highlights the importance of contextual factors and time use as factors influencing older people’s wellbeing. Finally, CREW also demonstrates the importance of comparative studies because of the important role that welfare regimes have in influencing older people’s health and wellbeing.

Project details

CREW participated in the second joint call on ‘Welfare, wellbeing and demographic change: Understanding welfare models’.

Project duration

1 January 2017 – 31 December 2021.


  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain.
    Bruno Arpino (coordinator)
  • Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, Netherlands.
    Anne Gauthier
  • Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium.
    Ester Rizzi
  • University of Florence, Italy.
    Gustavo De Santis
  • University of Padua, Italy.
    Maria Letizia Tanturri
  • University of Western Ontario, Canada.
    Rachel Margolis